"Grapes in Yellow Bowl" oil 12"x12"
"Cartoon" is the word the old master's used to describe the preliminary sketch that was scaled up to size via a grid and then transferred onto the final surface the art would be painted on. They punched teeny holes all along the lines and tapped fine charcoal powder against the drawing so the particles would go through the holes and leave an impression for them to follow when painting. I use a more modern approach - enlarge my drawing on a copier and transfer it by using a special transfer paper like Saral, which comes in various colours so you can transfer onto a light or dark surface and have the drawing visible. In this case I did not spend the extra money or take the time to travel down to Campbell River to use a professional copier that makes 36" by any length you want (from a roll of copier paper) which is frequently used by blueprint makers and available at Sure Copy there. Most decent sized towns have at least one copy place that has one of these machines. When I do large paintings it is a time saver but this is just 16"x40" so I used our home copier and taped together the separate copies of each section of the drawing. I have small and also a large lightbox but here I just taped the copies to the window and lined up the drawing that way. There is always some distortion in the enlargement to be aware of and correct in the final transfer. In this case I can't use my favorite Red transfer paper since my underpainting is red so will use either white or yellow. I like a red underpainting since it enlivens the whole image even when painted over - the red shows through subtly and adds a richness.
The next two images are for one of my blogging friends, Claire Christinel, who is having some issues with making shadow colours on lemons. Shadowing yellow can turn to mud if you're not careful. Here I used a red tone for the shadow in the yellow bowl but on the right side went to the green reflected from the green grapes and to offer a cool breathing spot. In the Bananas and Oranges painting I did the same thing, alternating between the warm red tones and cool green/blue tones. I allowed a bit of burnt umber in there but not too much - always aware of staying away from mud. I went very bright red for the shadows on the oranges which I like very much, and a deep purple for the orange in front. I outlined the bananas in Cerulean Blue before painting the yellow tones. One of my favorite painters, Wayne Theibaud, does this and I remember how impressed I was with the liveliness in his work the first time I ever saw it - a portrait of a young girl sitting in a yellow dress and go-go boots - just a white background - and all this colour around the edges. That was back in the late 60's and I have often returned to that technique for my own work. Thank you Wayne! His paintings of food are scrumptious!